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10 Genius Paper Clip Hacks We Wish We Knew Sooner

Glass jar of colourful blue and white paper clips
Getty Images

Although a staple in every home and office, it’s easy to forget how useful a single paper clip can be. To celebrate this simple (and incredibly versatile) office staple, we’ve put together a list of ten smart ways to use paper clips around the home.


Whether you’re in a pinch and need an emergency hem solution (hello, office events or weddings) or need to unclog a small hole, these five-minute hacks will give the humble paper clip plenty of persuasion power for becoming a permanent fixture in your household.

1. Smartphone Stand

You can easily bend a paper clip into a holder for your smartphone to make video watching more convenient. Sure, it’s not the most sturdy solution long term, but if you need a one-off hack to prop up your phone for photo taking or to follow a new recipe, it’s the perfect DIY.

2. Emergency Hem

Did you change from heels to flats after work, and now your pants are too long? Simply cuff in each pant leg and secure the fold with a paper clip. Whether pant, skirt or shirt cuff, this is a super useful hack to keep in your back pocket (literally).

Related: This Kitchen Upcycling Idea is the Best Way to Organize Produce

3. Hang Christmas Ornaments

Ran out of hangers for all your glittering Christmas tree ornaments? No problem — at least if you have a paperclip on hand! Simply slide the clip through the ornament hole, and hang it from the branch. Bonus points if the paper clip is green to blend in with the tree.

Gold and red christmas ornaments hanging from evergreen tree

4. Unclog Small Holes

Another great use for a paperclip is to clean everything from salt and pepper shakers to a can of hairspray. And while this tip isn’t unclogging per se, you can even use a paper clip as a pin to remove a phone SIM card.

5. Replace Broken Zippers

Did your pant zipper bust at the most inconvenient time? Utilize a paper clip as a DIY pull tab to allow a zipper to continuing functioning. These handy little items are the perfect thing to have in an emergency sewing kit to make repairs a cinch!


Related: I Stopped Using Paper Towels — Here’s How and Why You Should, Too

6. Tie a Food Bag

If you need to keep a plastic bag closed, unbend a paperclip and use it as a sturdy twist tie for an opened bread bag (or any other bag you need to keep sealed tight).

7. Letter Opener

Opening mail by hand is never as successful as we intend. If you don’t have a letter opener, straighten one end of a paperclip to easily slit open a sealed envelope.

A coffee cup with an envelope and paperclips

8. Keychain

In need of a last-minute keychain so you don’t lose your precious house key? Straighten a paper clip, then slip the keys onto it and bend in a circle. This quick DIY will keep your keys together in a pinch.

Related: IKEA Desks for Every Style and Budget

9. Emergency Toothpick

If you have food stuck in your teeth and your finger just isn’t cutting it (and toothpicks are no where to be found) remove that stubborn bit of food with a clean, bent paperclip.

10. Money Clip

Yes, paper clips are for more than just documents! Make use of the office supply item to keep money bills organized, whether in your wallet or around the house.





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